Monday, June 18, 2012

"The Killing" finale recap: "What I know"

Spoilers for the season finale of "The Killing" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

Sometimes, the best thing I can say about a show is that it didn't make me want to throw a brick at my TV. Take the second season finale of AMC's "The Killing" for example. The episode, "What I Know," finally revealed the killer of teenager Rosie Larsen, in a manner completely consistent with this show. That is to say, there were a bunch of goofy plot twists (OMG! Darren's steady right-hand man Jamie is actually a raving loon who nearly beat Rosie to death!), clunky reveals (OMG! It wasn't Jamie who killed Rosie after all, but Rosie's Aunt Terry, who thought she was protecting her boyfriend Michael Ames by sending a nameless girl to a watery grave, not knowing that it was Rosie!) and general weirdness. (Is it just me, or are the Larsen boys WAY too old to be that excited about the swing set at their new house? Also, what happened to Stan's assault charges? Do they just disappear now that his family is whole? That's convenient.)

But if the finale was a bit disappointing, well, it didn't make me want to throw a brick at my TV. And, in that respect, it was way, way better than the show's first season finale, in which it looked like we had learned the identity of Rosie's killer ... then it turned out that we hadn't.

So, at least this episode gave a real resolution to the Rosie Larsen story. And, even if I wasn't crazy about "What I Know," I will say that I enjoyed the second season of "The Killing" much more than the first. Though the mystery itself remained labored and silly, the character work was much stronger this season, particularly when it came to Linden (Mireille Enos) and Holder (Joel Kinnaman) and their slowly growing friendship. The handful of episodes that focused on these two damaged people and their wary journey toward trusting each other were quite good -- as was a lot of the stuff focusing on Rosie's dad Stan (Brent Sexton) trying to raise his remaining children alone while his wife was on sabbatical.

There was even some stuff in the finale I really enjoyed, like Stan and returned wife Mitch (Michelle Forbes) quietly holding hands as they pack up Rosie's room or the way Linden quietly stalks off into the murky Seattle afternoon. Would I watch a third season of "The Killing?" Probably, if only for the performances of Enos and especially Kinnaman, who is by far the best thing about it.

Do I hope it returns for the third season? Well, I'm not sure. But the idea of another season of "The Killing" doesn't exactly make me want to throw a brick at my TV. Which is something.

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